Abortion is misogynistic and anti-choice: 64 percent of women who have abortions feel coerced into abortion, 84 percent of women are not fully informed of the abortion processes and side effects, 79 percent are not counseled about alternatives, and approximately 53 percent feel rushed or uncertain. Alarmingly, 1 in 10 women develop an immediate complication, and 1 in 5 of these complications are life threatening, resulting in infection, hemorrhage, or injury.
Abortion also harms mental health. For example, 27 to 50 percent of women who have abortions later consider suicide (the rate is higher in teens), and 65 percent suffer PTSD. Many women (and men) struggle with depression or develop substance abuse.
Women may also be at higher risk for cancer, suffering future miscarriages, or having premature births. Planned Parenthood’s own pamphlet from 1952 warned that abortion is dangerous to women's health and can cause infertility.
By contrast, 4 out of 5 women choose life when they are given the truth about fetal development and the risks abortion poses to their own health as well as when they are provided safe healthcare services, support, and resources.
Abortion is also a form of bigotry and the leading cause of death. Planned Parenthood is the leading cause of death for African Americans, and they additionally target other minorities, disproportionately killing Latinxs, girls, babies with disabilities, and babies born alive after failed abortions. Sadly, 87 percent of babies with Down syndrome are aborted along with 64 percent of those with spina bifida, despite fetal surgery available to treat spina bifida. Furthermore, countless babies have been misdiagnosed and did not have the predicted disabilities upon birth.
Abortion sends a false, bigoted message that lives with disabilities are less valuable, instead of giving support families need. However, people with Down syndrome, for example, include entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, models, fashion designers. An overwhelming majority—99 percent—report they live happy lives and express love for their families. Additionally, 88 percent of siblings to individuals with Down syndrome say they are better people because of their sibling with Down syndrome.
Hannah Sudlow and her daughter Evelyn are a stark and disturbing illustration of how abortion is discriminatory, extremely anti-women, and certainly not healthcare. Hannah’s daughter was mistakenly pre-diagnosed with Down syndrome before her birth.
At her 20-week ultrasound, the doctor said,
“Basically everything is wrong with this child. She has cysts on her brain. She is four weeks behind on her growth. She is missing half her heart. She has a cleft palate, clenched fists, and two clubbed feet. Oh, and by the way, it’s a girl.”
Further testing revealed Evelyn did not have Down syndrome, but actually had Trisomy 18. Though some children with Trisomy 18 live for years, many die in the womb or shortly after birth. A doctor called Hannah to tell her of the diagnosis error because they had mixed up Evelyn’s test with someone else's.
He told her Trisomy 18 is considered “incompatible with life.”
What the doctor said next should outrage anyone. He had spoken with another doctor at Hannah's OB/GYN office who had informed him Hannah would be terminating the pregnancy and that he had already scheduled the abortion appointment. Hannah was shocked and insisted she did not want an abortion.
The doctor disagreed,
“You can’t keep her. I don’t think you know how serious this is.”
Hannah called the doctor who had scheduled the abortion, whom she had never even met, and told him she was not going to abort her daughter. She cried on the phone, and he told her to save her energy for the child she was carrying, the very child he had already scheduled an abortion for without Hannah's consent. After she again refused abortion, the office she had been going to for her entire pregnancy refused to continue providing her with prenatal care.
For the next few weeks, no doctor would see her, simply because she had chosen life for her child.
Eventually, the family found a new doctor. A series of ultrasound scans over the next few months showed signs of improvement.
Today, Evelyn’s heart is stable, and she is thriving. She has even become a big sister, an accomplishment for Evelyn and Hannah alike, because if had Hannah undergone an abortion, she would have been at risk for complications with future pregnancies, premature birth, miscarriage, or even infertility. Though her parents are not sure how long Evelyn will live, they said every day with her is a gift.
Ironically, an ultrasound technician had once said,
“That's one strong heart in there.”
“She was always safest inside my womb, and I had to protect her. I did not start Evelyn’s heartbeat and I did not have the authority to decide when it stopped.
Only God is the holder of time. That is freedom to me. It frees me up to be Evelyn’s mom and enjoy her like I would any other child. I pray for wisdom with her health and God to open doors when something needs to be done, but knowing her life has its own purpose takes that weight off of my shoulders.”
Hannah felt compelled to share her story after New York sadly passed abortion up to birth for “health” reasons, though abortion is never medically necessary; delivery or C-section is safer for the health of mothers, and doctors would treat both patients, the mom and the baby. Even in cases with terminal fetal diagnosis, carrying the child to term does not increase maternal mortality. In fact, nations with pro-life laws have lower maternal mortality rates. Additionally, studies have shown parents are comforted by the precious time they can spend with their terminally ill babies.
Appallingly, however, there is even opposition to provide medical care to viable babies born alive after failed abortion attempts. The disturbing reality is that the majority of even late-term abortions are elective, performed on healthy mothers with healthy babies. Often, instead of abortion, these mothers just need support during financial or other challenges, just like how Hannah deserved support throughout her pregnancy with Evelyn.
It is appalling that abortion is so quickly assumed to be the chosen option. It is not in the best interest of the mother's physical or mental health, and it is bigoted and insensitive to suggest abortion for babies with disabilities, when many thrive with medical care, like Evelyn.
Hannah’s family hopes Evelyn’s story will inspire others to choose life.